Burhan Kuzu, an advisor to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul deputy, said on Wednesday that the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will always have a voice in state governance since it has supported the ruling AKP on a draft constitution that aims to switch Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance.
In series of Tweets early on Wednesday, Kuzu said: “The MHP serves the great Turkish nation by supporting the presidential system. Those who don’t like [MHP’s support for the AKP] went mad.”
He further said: “In a presidential system [in Turkey], the MHP will always have a voice in state governance. Everyone must know this. Hate-mongers are at work. But [their efforts are] pointless.”
Following MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s promise in November to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to support the AKP government when a draft constitution was submitted for parliamentary approval, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) objected, claiming the draft constitution aims to switch to a presidential system of governance in Turkey.
Prior to his meeting with Yıldırım, Bahçeli also met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential palace in Ankara amid ongoing debates about the introduction of an executive presidency and the reinstatement of capital punishment in Turkey.
The Erdoğan-Bahçeli meeting came at a time when Bahçeli sparked a fresh debate last month over the introduction of an executive presidency when he said there was a de facto situation in Turkey concerning its system of governance and that President Erdoğan was already acting like an executive president even though his post is largely ceremonial. Bahçeli said the situation needed to be resolved.
Bahçeli’s remarks were interpreted as supporting a switch to an executive presidency, and AKP government officials said they would bring a proposal for a change to an executive presidency to Parliament in January and present it in a referendum in April.